July 17, 2008

Fat Cat Diet

I have a fat cat. In fact, he is VERY fat (a 15 pounder on my human scale -- and I know that it is off when I step on it --he has to be over that mark, for sure!) At first, we all laughed at him and called him "tubby" instead of tabby; but, now it is clear that he is not something to be laughed at. I was petting him yesterday and as he rolled over, I was shocked to see just how "fat" he was, especially in his tummy.

Gussy (or Gus - Asparagus) was a runt when we got him. He had been orphaned by his mother and he was barely 3 weeks old. I bottled fed him until he could eat mushy foods. I then kept him on formula for a bit longer than normal, simply because he appeared to have some palate issues (eating/swallowing). At some point, maybe around 3-4 months, he seemed to figure out how to eat and started eating everything in sight. He ate everyone else's food -- which is not a good thing when you have other cats who are very hungry. My other cats, Winston, age 1; and, Zachary, age 18; are not the kinds to be very pushy. If anything they are laid back and push overs. Gus stuck his nose in everyone else's bowl and the other guys would just let him get away with it. I know, bad kitten behavior. In a family of kittens, Gussy would have learned to share and eat his own food because his siblings would have stuck their noses in his bowl too. Unfortunately, Gussy learned he could eat whenever and as much food as he liked. So I have no one to blame but myself -- I have created a FAT CAT.

So, now I need a diet program that will work for him. I am hesitant to remove the free feed because my elderly cat is pretty scrawny and doesn't always eat when the others do. My middle cat is normal size. He is a big boy, but not overweight. I have switched bowls and put down three small bowls instead of the two connected jumbo ones I was using. I am also going to not allow them to free feed but twice a day. I have them on dry food -- cheaper on me and easier for us to handle -- and will not change their food yet. I think restricting food is first. I am aware that with cats, you cannot just change diets or else they can become very ill. I think slow restriction of food is the key (counting calories for a cat, so to speak.)

Oh well...we will see how it goes...

Ps. I will post a before and after picture of Gus later on.


{Happy Homes} said...

Hi, I have/had a fat cat. Last year about this time we went to the vet...I got in trouble for feeding him too much and we started a Prescription R/D food for felines. 1/4c 2x a day. My cat, Whisker's loves the food and has responded well. I'd say he's lost about 4-5 lbs (down from 19lbs!) I sometimes give him 1/8c 4x per day, just so he doesn't get grumpy because we also did the free feed method. Just fyi.

Found your blog because I'm starting to home school my 15 year old through high school, Grade 9 this year. I'm looking at homeschool tracker for my recording program. Any other comments...?


momawake said...

The other day you had a post about Bible study, what happened to it? I looked around only a little and didn't find it.

Carol Hepburn said...

It is there now -- :o).

Carol Hepburn said...

Just read a post on Yahoo (8/1/08) where a 44-lb cat was discovered. I have decided that my poor 15-lber is not fat, just a wee bit stocky. Still I am trying to control his food consumption -- he is looking a little leaner and seems to be a bit more spry. All in all...a good thing.

WOW! 44lbs!